MBMG geologists participate in the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI), sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Organized as a partnership between the USGS, state geological surveys, and other Federal, State, and private-sector organizations, Earth MRI uses state-of-the-art geologic mapping and airborne geophysical and topographic (LiDAR) surveys to map critical mineral resources in the U.S. These data sets are useful to identify potential buried critical mineral deposits. Ultimately, the Earth MRI effort seeks to enhance domestic sources and supply of minerals that are fundamental to the Nation’s security and economy.
Initiated in 2019, MBMG’s Earth MRI program has multiple ongoing projects. We catalogue information from our Mining Archives to characterize critical mineral potential from current and past producing mine sites in Montana. We are also engaged in a geologic mapping effort in the Elkhorn District, in the eastern portion of the Late Cretaceous Boulder Batholith. The Elkhorn Mountains Volcanic System hosts precious and base metal ore deposits. This mapping and associated geochemical analyses will help characterize the potential for critical minerals in these deposits.